Nokia Lumia 1320 Review: Best in its Class

Nokia Lumia 1320 Review: Best in its Class

By Rich W Woods

There are tons of different kinds of phones out there. First, there’s the operating system. There is Windows Phone, Android, and iOS. Then, there is the quality. There are low end phones, mid-range phones, and high end phones, and each one comes in each operating system. Then there are mini phones, regular sized phones, and phablets.

As far as budget Windows Phone phablets go, the Nokia Lumia 1320 is best in its class. Obviously, it’s the only one in its class; however, there are very few budget fabulist that exist overall. A lot of credit can be given to Nokia for making a sister to the Nokia Lumia 1520 that is a bit more affordable.

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The Nokia Lumia 1320 received the Lumia Cyan update last week and Lumia Cyan pretty much makes a Windows Phone 8 phone into an entirely new phone, so this is sort of a timely review. Either way, Nokia sent us a review unit to check out.

Nokia Lumia 1320: Specs

Processor 1.7 GHz Dual Core Snapdragon 400
Display 6″, 720p, 245 ppi, LCD
Body 164.2×85.9×9.8 mm, 220 g
Camera 5 MP, 2592×1944, 0.3 MP VGA Front
Video 1080p at 30 fps
Aperture F/2.4
Camera Sensor 1.4″
Storage 8 GB, Expandable to 64 GB
Price ~$275


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The Nokia Lumia 1320 is an exclusive to Cricket Wireless in the United States, which is why it’s not entirely well known, since very few people use Cricket Wireless; however, there is an unlocked version.

From looking at the specs, there are a few pros and cons. One pro is 1080p video. This is the first phone that I’ve seen that’s got a Snapdragon 400 under the hood and takes 1080p video. After all, the Moto G and the Nokia Lumia 635 only take 720p video. All that is needed for 1080p is a 2.1 MP sensor while in 16:9 mode.

One of the cons to the Nokia Lumia 1320 is that it is very heavy. Coming in at 220 g, it can really way you down. Considering the size with that weight, it can be a problem.

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Nokia Lumia 1320: Rear Camera

Lumia Cyan is Windows Phone 8.1 bundled with a firmware update. The most notable feature of this update was camera improvements. In fact, the first column that I wrote after receiving the Nokia Lumia 1320 was a side by side comparison of photos from the Lumia 1320 before and after Lumia Cyan. In the time preceding the review, I also compared the camera to the Nokia Lumia 635 and the Moto G.

Nokia has always been known for having great cameras, and the Nokia Lumia 1320 is no exception. The Nokia Lumia 1320 uses a 5 MP rear camera with an LED flash. Don’t let the low resolution of the camera make you believe that it’s a poor camera. After all, 5 MP is well north of 1440p, so unless you have a 4K monitor (8.3 MP), the resolution of the photo is higher than the resolution of the display.

The front facing camera is only 0.3 MP, so it’s not the best. Something to consider here is that other budget phones that Nokia makes don’t have a front facing camera at all, such as the Nokia Lumia 530 and 635.

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Let’s look at some samples. Note that you can click or tap the photos to enlarge them.

As you can see, the camera on the Nokia Lumia 1320 is really great. Most of the time, a 5 MP camera on a budget phone will look grainy and the lighting will look terrible. Just look at the 5 MP front facing camera on the HTC One M8.

What makes Nokia cameras so great is the colors that they present. They don’t look oversaturated like the camera on the HTC One M8 and they don’t look overexposed like many cell phone cameras do.

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Nokia Lumia 1320: Review

Due to its size and shape, the natural device to compare the Nokia Lumia 1320 to is the Nokia Lumia 1520, and that might not be a bad thing. The Nokia Lumia 1320 is heavier, has a slower processor, has a lower resolution display, and a lower resolution camera, but it is also less than half the price. Again, it is the only phone in its class, and there is something to be said about that.

If you are considering purchasing this phone, there are a few things to know. One thing is that it is big and it is heavy. Ask yourself how long you are going to be carrying this phone around for, because if you keep a phone for two years like most people, you might want to consider if you want comfort or size.

The Glance screen is a nice option to have on the Nokia Lumia 1320. If you don’t know, Glance is a feature that shows the time and notifications while the phone is asleep. If you have had a higher end Lumia in the past such as the Nokia Lumia 1020, there is something you need to know. Higher end Lumias are AMOLED, a display technology that allows for certain pixels to be turned off, allowing for true black on the screen. Since the Lumia 1320 is LCD, you can still tell that the display is backlit during Glance. Personally, I keep it turned off for an LCD display, but it’s really cool that they gave the option.

This is a good phone, but it’s not for everyone. If you want a big phone, you should get the Nokia Lumia 1520. It has a 6″ 1080p AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 800 processor, and a 20 MP camera. If you want a budget phone, you should buy a Nokia Lumia 635. It has a 4.5″ 480p LCD display, a quad core Snapdragon 400, and a 5 MP rear camera, but with no front facing camera. If you fit both profiles of wanting a budget phone and a big phone, you should buy the Nokia Lumia 1320.

There is one more thing to consider. Most of the Windows Phone 8 phones used dual core processors. The newer Windows Phone 8.1 phones use quad core processors. This is important because there are certain features that can’t be used without a quad core processor on Windows Phone 8.1, such as screen sharing. It might just be a good idea to wait and see if Nokia makes a Nokia Lumia 1330.

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All Nokia Lumia 1320 Camera Comparisons

About the author
Rich Woods

Being a computer programmer wasn't enough to fulfill his love of technology. In 2013, Rich founded For the Love of Tech and has been writing about his love of tech ever since.